How to Tell Guests Your Wedding Is Downsized

While many couples are choosing to postpone their weddings due to COVID, that’s not the case for everyone. You may not want to wait or have to push your wedding farther down the road.

So, instead you’re planning on moving forward with your wedding on your original date (or planning a smaller wedding for now).

Which means you’re downsizing your wedding and in turn, downsizing your guest list.

But, once you’ve cut your guest list down, then what?

What comes next is all about guest communication.

While cutting your guest list was tricky, this next part can make you feel very uncomfortable.

You might feel a bit icky and also a little guilty. And you might also be worried your guests will be upset.

So, how do you tell guests your wedding is downsized? With these tips!


Bride and groom walking down the aisle at their wedding ceremony by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy the online wedding planning program for couples
(Photo credit: Yours Truly)


Start by being honest. While it might seem counterintuitive, like you have to come up with an excuse. You don’t!

Being honest is really what will make the ick go away. Because you’re being honest and speaking from the heart.

Being honest will also have the right effect on your guests so that they understand as well.

But, what does being honest mean?

It means talking about why you’ve made the decision you’ve made.

Why you’re downsizing. Why you don’t want to wait.

Tell your guests your story.

Your story will have personal elements and reasons. Like not wanting to wait to start your marriage or a family.

But there are also bigger COVID concerns as well like keeping people safe.

Your reasons are valid, so don’t feel guilty about them.

Because everyone knows what’s going on right now. And your guests will understand your decision because you’re sharing why.

They’ll also be thankful that you’re thinking about their safety.


Now, while honesty is important, it’s also really important to be respectful of your guests and their feelings.

Which means you don’t have to share everything.

You don’t have to tell them that it’s because you want to spend less (if that’s a reason). Or why you’ve chosen certain people over others. Or the details behind what you are planning on doing.

You don’t want to make your guests feel bad. And you don’t want to worry about upsetting them.

So, tell them how much you care.

Because regardless of whether they made the cut, you still care about them. A lot.

So, share your regrets.

Tell them how sorry you are that you won’t get to celebrate the way you originally planned. That you won’t be able to see them in person.

And then thank them for being supportive through not only these hard times, but throughout your lives.

It’s a great way to share your love for them (which makes both you and them feel good) and softens the blow at the same time.

Wedding party celebrating with hugs after a San Francisco wedding ceremony by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy, the online step by step wedding planning program
(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)


If you’re planning on having a virtual component to your downsized wedding, now is the time to get them excited for that!

Share what will be happening, whatever that may be.

You can keep the surprises to yourself, but share the basic details of when, where and how.

Tell them what to expect and what to plan for.

And most importantly, share your excitement about being able to celebrate with them even if it’s a little different.

The more excited you are, the more excited they will be.

Now beyond these 3 tips, here are a few do’s and don’ts you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes to making your announcement.


Bride and groom excitedly celebrating on their wedding day in San Francisco by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy the online wedding planning course for couples
(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)

DO – Inform your guests in a timely manner.

As soon as you’ve made a decision, downsized your guest list and have the basic details, let your guests know so they can plan accordingly.

Email is typically easiest, but you can call people as well. And a group email is fine, just make sure you have one for each group (as you’ll have different details). But, if you have the time for individual personalized emails, your guests will really appreciate it.

DO – Keep your in person guests in the know.

You want to make sure you let those who are invited to the in person wedding know who is and isn’t invited to that portion. You don’t want to put any guests in an uncomfortable position.

DON’T – Make your announcement your invite.

Think of your announcement more like a save the date. You’ll want to send an official invite out once you have all the details nailed down.

DO – Create (or update) your website to reflect the new wedding you’re having.

Share the website with your guests during your announcement. But, don’t worry, the website can start with just basic information and you can add all the details once you have it.

DON’T – Share everything with everyone.

Just like your email, make sure you have separate information for those who are invited to your in person wedding vs. those who are not or are only invited to the virtual wedding.

Which means you can have 2 websites or just make certain event details visible to certain groups.

Wedding invitation, bridal shoes and wedding rings details for a Hawaii wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy the online wedding planning course for couples
(Photo credit: Day 7 Photography)

Telling guests your wedding is downsized can be an uncomfortable task. But it doesn’t have to be!

Use the tips we’ve shared and it will be easier than you think to make the announcement.

And if you need some help, become a Passport to Joy member!

You’ll get access to a personal wedding advisor to answer all your questions whether that’s guiding you through how to tell your guests your wedding is downsized to how to plan a wedding during COVID to figuring out which vendor is right for you.

You’ll get to tap into a professional wedding planner’s knowledge and experience. So you’ll never be on your own.

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